Hedge Funds Are Betting On Align Technology, Inc. (ALGN): Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. (SIRO), Mine Safety Appliances (MSA)

Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN) shareholders have witnessed an increase in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds in recent months.

Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN)

In today’s marketplace, there are plenty of indicators investors can use to watch the equity markets. A pair of the most under-the-radar are hedge fund and insider trading interest. At Insider Monkey, our studies have shown that, historically, those who follow the top picks of the top fund managers can trounce the broader indices by a healthy amount (see just how much).

Just as beneficial, positive insider trading activity is another way to parse down the stock market universe. There are lots of motivations for an insider to cut shares of his or her company, but just one, very simple reason why they would initiate a purchase. Various academic studies have demonstrated the impressive potential of this tactic if piggybackers understand what to do (learn more here).

Keeping this in mind, we’re going to take a gander at the recent action regarding Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN).

Hedge fund activity in Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN)

At year’s end, a total of 13 of the hedge funds we track held long positions in this stock, a change of 8% from one quarter earlier. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were boosting their holdings considerably.

Of the funds we track, Jerome Pfund and Michael Sjostrom’s Sectoral Asset Management had the most valuable position in Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN), worth close to $66 million, accounting for 2.3% of its total 13F portfolio. On Sectoral Asset Management’s heels is Christopher Medlock James of Partner Fund Management, with a $6 million position; 2.3% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the company. Some other hedge funds that hold long positions include Andrew Sandler’s Sandler Capital Management, Jacob Gottlieb’s Visium Asset Management and SAC Subsidiary’s CR Intrinsic Investors.

With a general bullishness amongst the heavyweights, key hedge funds have jumped into Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN) headfirst. Sectoral Asset Management, managed by JΘr⌠me Pfund and Michael Sj÷str÷m, assembled the largest position in Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN). Sectoral Asset Management had 66 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Christopher Medlock James’s Partner Fund Management also made a $6 million investment in the stock during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new ALGN investors: Jacob Gottlieb’s Visium Asset Management, SAC Subsidiary’s CR Intrinsic Investors, and Brian Ashford-Russell and Tim Woolley’s Polar Capital.

How have insiders been trading Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN)?

Bullish insider trading is particularly usable when the company in focus has experienced transactions within the past 180 days. Over the last six-month time frame, Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN) has seen zero unique insiders purchasing, and 4 insider sales (see the details of insider trades here).

Let’s go over hedge fund and insider activity in other stocks similar to Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN). These stocks are Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRO), Mine Safety Appliances (NYSE:MSA), STERIS Corp (NYSE:STE), Opko Health Inc. (NYSE:OPK), and Techne Corporation (NASDAQ:TECH). This group of stocks belong to the medical appliances & equipment industry and their market caps resemble ALGN’s market cap.

Company Name # of Hedge Funds # of Insiders Buying # of Insiders Selling
Sirona Dental Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRO) 23 0 1
Mine Safety Appliances (NYSE:MSA) 8 0 6
STERIS Corp (NYSE:STE) 17 0 10
Opko Health Inc. (NYSE:OPK) 10 3 1
Techne Corporation (NASDAQ:TECH) 9 0 1

With the returns shown by the aforementioned strategies, retail investors should always pay attention to hedge fund and insider trading activity, and Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN) shareholders fit into this picture quite nicely.

Click here to learn more about Insider Monkey’s Hedge Fund Newsletter

Insider Monkey’s small-cap strategy returned 37% between September 2012 and March 2013 versus 12.9% for the S&P 500 index. Try it now by clicking the link above.